Guide > Season Two >
Picture If You Will
April 21, 2000
by: Peter Neale
By: Andrew Prowse
loves to shop and apparently has a new shopping buddy - Chiana.
While visiting a commerce ship, Chiana comes across an unusual picture.
The alien portrait includes a likeness eerily resembling Chiana.
Rightfully disturbed by the strange artifact, Chiana decides to
leave it alone. But Kyvan, the alien dealer, insists Chiana should
have it and gives it to her. Remember ST2 the Wrath of Khan? Beware
Romulans bearing gifts - apparently John hasn't let Chiana in on
that bit of Earth culture and she freely accepts the portrait. She'll
after arriving back on Moya, the portrait changes, showing Chiana
with a broken leg. Almost immediately she trips and hurts her leg,
just as the portrait foretold. Chiana, thinking it a coincidence,
dismisses the unfortunate event. Zhaan, however, isn't so sure it
means nothing. Chiana's cavalier attitude turns sour when the portrait
changes again - this time showing her consumed by flames. Panicked,
Chiana insists the portrait is removed from her presence. The crew,
now highly agitated by the strange portrait, tries to get rid of
it. Before they can dispose of the strange portrait, Chiana is consumed
by fire in the ship's refrigeration unit and is reduced to ash.
crew destroy the portrait, but it returns unscathed and with a new
image of death. D'Argo is the next to die - just as the picture
foretold. It becomes clear the portrait isn't foretelling anything
- it is causing the deaths. Only Zhaan would seem prepared to deal
with the murderous mysticism, but she is gripped by fear. When John
is shown on the portrait, Zhaan purposely pushes him into the Prowler,
electrocuting him just as the portrait said he would die.
Interestingly, when the crew members die, they actually disappear.
No blood, no body - nothing. Clearly, something is not as it seems
and Zhaan sets into motion a plan to discover who or what is causing
the deaths of her crew mates.
first half of Picture If You Will plays like an episode of The Twilight
Zone. One by one, Moya's crew are being knocked off and no one seems
to have much idea what is causing the disappearances. Must admit,
the scene of Aeryn flying John's "pile of dren" module
is amusing and jarring. I associate Aeryn with Peacekeeper technology,
not flying John's primitive contraption. Then, just when the show
looks like a winner, Muldis shows up and the intensity falls apart.
Muldis, the vampire-like bad guy from season one's TOBM, is back
and he's not worse than ever - just more annoying.
Muldis is still full of the one-liners and he created a lovely place
to hold the crew. But he doesn't seem very menacing, at least compared
to his prior engagement with John and Zhaan. When he finally captures
his true prey--Zhaan--we should expect quite a battle of mystical
wits. Instead, Zhaan does a nice flip twist, flies through the air,
and knocks out Muldis in one punch. She defeats him, with some help
from Aeryn, quite easily. It seems Muldis should have waited a little
longer to regenerate before taking on the powerful Zhaan. At the
end of the episode, no one has even a hair out of place.
the end of TOBM, even though Muldis was defeated, there was a sense
of consequence. John didn't make headway with Crais and Zhaan had
unleashed her dark impulses with no guarantee of regaining control.
Zhaan won, but there was a price to be paid. I felt no such thing
with this episode. The crew disappears, Muldis shows, and Zhaan
defeats him - end of story. Too bad, PIYW had the makings of a great
episode and ends up falling well short.
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